Airlifter of the Week: Airman 1st Class Francisco Castillo

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Thomas Karol
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Francisco Castillo, 86th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment apprentice, is a humble man from simple beginnings. He was awarded the title of Airlifter of the Week because of his attitude, demeanor and constant drive to be better than he was yesterday. He embodies all the core values, but the one that best describes him is service before self.

Castillo spends much of his time volunteering for the base and local community. He is not afraid to raise his hand and be the first in line to help out when needed.

“I enjoy volunteering because of how much happiness it brings people,” Castillo said. “Ever since I was in school I have liked to give back when I can. I think I just like letting people know I care about them and want to help out.”

Castillo comes from a modest beginning. He did not have a lot as a young man growing up in Houston, Texas. After moving in with his father he found he had a little bit more than he did before and felt the need to pay it forward.

“I didn’t always have much when I was younger,” Castillo said. “I wore the same clothes to school for sometimes two years and didn’t get a haircut very often. Later in life, in high school, I found I had a lot more. I never had to worry about where my next meal came from and got a haircut every two weeks. I also knew a lot of people didn’t have what I had and I felt the need to give others a little of what I had.”

Castillo joined the Air Force to see the world and make a name for himself. He joined the Air force because it fit his need for adventure and the hope to be more tomorrow than he was today.

“It’s my name on the uniform and I want to bring honor to it,” Castillo said. “When my father saw my name on my uniform he was so proud. I want to be the best I can be so I can give my unborn children what I didn’t have and make my family proud.”

Castillo credits much of his success to his team, specifically his team’s non-commissioned officers.
“The NCOs here helped me so much,” Castillo said. “Not just professionally, but personally too. They are always checking up on us to make sure we are doing alright and have what we need. I can’t say enough good things about my team.”

Even a hard worker like Castillo has to get a break from work. He enjoys being outside, watching movies, and getting in shape.

“I like to work out as a pastime,” Castillo said. “I also like hiking and being outside as a way to relax. But, my favorite way to kick back is movies. I’m always looking for a new movie to watch and it keeps me entertained for a few hours.”

Castillo wants his legacy to be known, for himself, his parents and his future family. He says you should always remember where you come from, whether it’s good or bad, and try to be better than you were yesterday.

“I talked to my dad the other day and told him about what happened,” Castillo said. “I told him I got coined by the general and the chief master sergeant on base. He told me how proud he was of me. A lot of my family is associated with poor choices and for my father to see what I am becoming brings him happiness. He sees I’ve come a long way from where I was and I want to keep that up. I’m better than what I was yesterday, and I’m doing it for tomorrow.”